Whiteface

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The earliest use of the term noted by the Oxford English Dictionary is from the New York Dramatic News in 1895, and refers to the American vaudeville actor Lew Dockstader "in his new white-face act".[2]

The OED also lists a 1947 reference to the black actor Canada Lee performing the role of Bosola in The Duchess of Malfi in whiteface.[2]

In the 1942 film Sullivan's Travels, as the final sight gag in the runaway bus sequence, a black chef's head is splashed with cake batter for a whiteface effect.

In Jean Genet's 1958 play The Blacks members of an all black cast wear whiteface to portray white establishment figures.

The 1970 film Watermelon Man begins with Godfrey Cambridge playing a whiteface character, who then wakes up one morning to find himself black.[3]

Eddie Murphy performed in whiteface on Saturday Night Live in the 1980s, and appeared in whiteface for minor characters in the films Coming to America and The Nutty Professor. Dave Chappelle employed whiteface on his show Chappelle's Show in the 2000s.

In the 1990s and 2000s, several films exploited the comic potential of black comedians donning whiteface. These performances include Lenny Henry in True Identity, and Shawn and Marlon Wayans in White Chicks.[4]

The 2006 FX reality television show Black. White. had two families realistically portrayed via makeup as another race: One as blackface, the other whiteface.[5]

In 2007, Chamillionaire does makeup for a character in the video for "Hip Hop Police".

In 2013, Nazeem Hussain used whiteface to portray Prince Harry in his comedy show Legally Brown.

Snoop Dogg has posted Instagram videos in whiteface as a white character "Todd", and Nick Cannon promoted his album White People Party Music with the whiteface character "Connor Smallnut".

Tahar Rahim as Prince of the Seal People in The Eagle.

In 2017, rapper Aminé used whiteface in the music video for his song REDMERCEDES. In the music video, the African-American characters act like stereotypical white characters; whereas the characters in whiteface act with stereotypical black mannerisms and speech.

In the 2018 episode of Atlanta entitled Teddy Perkins, Donald Glover portrayed the titular character, a former musician with extreme light sensitivity, in whiteface.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whiteface_(performance)
 

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